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Snowpiercer (2013)

 -  Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller  -  11 July 2014 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 98,656 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 362 user | 409 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

Set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills all life on the planet except for a lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system emerges.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Grey
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Franco the Elder
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Claude
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Fuyu (as Stephen Park)
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Storyline

Set in 2031, the entire world is frozen except for those aboard the Snowpiercer. For 17 years, the world's survivors are on a train hurtling around the globe creating their own economy and class system. Led by Curtis, a group of lower-class citizens living in squalor at the back of the train are determined to get to the front of the train and spread the wealth around. Each section of the train holds new surprises for the group who have to battle their way through. A revolution is underway. Written by Anne Campbell

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fight your way to the front See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

11 July 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buzqiran  »

Box Office

Budget:

$39,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$171,187 (USA) (27 June 2014)

Gross:

$4,563,029 (USA) (17 October 2014)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tilda Swinton had to spend more than two hours for costumes and make-ups. See more »

Goofs

Wilford congratulates Curtis for being the first human being to walk the whole length of the train; however, Claude, Wilford's assistant, is seen at the tail of the train, as well as the front. Though Claude does not travel very far into the tail section and while she has been in ever car, Curtis has been to the very back of the train, making him the only person to traverse its entire length. The children taken by Claude, however, were the first people to travel along the entire length of the train. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Male Reporter: Good morning. On this day, July 1st, 2014, at this hour, 0600, we are at the first airport in the world...
Female Reporter: The topic of so much controversy over the past seven years has continued development. Protests from environmental groups and a number of developing countries continue. But in accordance with...
Male Reporter: It had been claimed that CW7 is the answer to global warning. And we are witnessing it...
Female Reporter: Leaders argue that global warming can no longer be ignored. Today, 79 countries will begin ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Snowpiercer (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Strange Brew
Written by Eric Clapton, Felix Pappalardi and Gail Collins
Performed by Cream
Courtesy of Polydor Ltd.
Under License from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Bong Successfully Makes The Transition to English Without Diluting His Style
29 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Snowpiercer is a film that can be praised for many things; it's masterful world building, whirlwind pacing, it's lineup of immensely entertaining performances, its pertinent themes; but most of all it should be for its tonal audacity. Once again Korean genre master Bong Jong Ho has fused elements of pulp, pathos, and humor into a refreshing and satisfying combination.

Adapted from the graphic novel Le Transperceneige, Snowpiercer tells the tale of a world where Global Warming has forced the few remaining survivors of civilization into a classist autocracy located on a train. When rebel leader Curtis (played with steadiness by Chris Evans) spots a way to finally overtake the guards in the back of the train, a riots starts and all hell breaks loose. Our hero's must journey up the train through layers of classes until finally reaching the leader at the engine.

If this sounds like pretty typical dystopia to you let me make it clear that it isn't. While the film deals with a very weight main theme in the form of the quality of life vs it's existence in and of itself, the film is actually very playful. The film never delves into the needlessly self serious tone many blockbuster's and thrillers do nowadays but it also never shoehorns in it's comedic elements either. Bong is a master fusing together different tones and textures; he finds the farcical in the heartbreaking, the moving in the hilarious, catharsis in the smallest of things. Those familiar with Bong's work before, The Host, in particular already know of this genre fusion and it is executed excellently here. All these disparate elements are noticeable but never forced.

This playfulness also extends to the action sequences. Brutal and gruesome, but also excellently staged with a clear and precise eye for physical comedy. One moment your wincing, the other chuckling under your breath. This also extends to the film's environment and world which are equal parts beautiful, awful, kind of unnerving, and ultimately rotten to the core. Everything has a nice claustrophobic and ramshackle quality to it and Bong uses the unique environments and premise to his advantage. Some of the set-pieces are truly unique, which are a real rarity these days.

The performances also deserve mention, Swinton in particular. Gloriously over the top in every sense of the term Swinton delivers a laugh out loud hilarious villain performance. Equal parts sadistic and frantic every scene with her is pure delight. Another stand out is the short appearance by Allison Pill who is gloriously angelic and insane in the same breath. Evans carries his role with strength and confidence exuding just enough charm and charisma to stay out of generic hero territory. He's not the most intriguing character of the story but he is the most grounded one, which is a scenario as alien as this one is a must for audiences.

Another element of the film that should be singled out for praise is the film's deeply humanistic thematic center. It makes the case that humanity shouldn't survive if people have to live like dogs for the sake of living. Life is meaningless without the capability for happiness. The ending (without too many spoilers) is one of the most fist pumpingly heartfelt yet immensely pessimistic images that will be seen this year.

The film bolts at a dizzying pace; another one of its remarkable qualities is how efficient it is at establishing the mechanics by which the world operates. Every segment of the train has its own feel and we always get just enough of a taste of a segment to be left wanting more but never tire. This brisk pacing is a welcome change of pace from a lot of modern blockbusters which always feel like they are straining against their bloated run times. The complexity of Snowpiercer's world could justify a three hour run time but instead Bong opts wisely to keep the momentum going so that we never get bogged down in the details.

There are a few critiques I can level at the film. Some of the character in the rebel supporting cast don't get much shading. They are all amusing just nothing memorable. Also much like Bong's The Host the production values are wildly uneven. Some of the shots are downright gorgeous whereas a lot of the CGI is very immersion breaking. Bad effects don't usually bother but when they are attached to a a film of such high quality it makes them all the more noticeable. It may have been better if they went fully practical as opposed to meshing in some of the other effects.

At any rate while Snowpiercer never reaches the dizzying highs of Memories of Murder and Madeo it is one of the first must see films of 2014 and sits comfortably alongside Minority Report and The Host in terms of providing a thrilling adventure and social commentary.


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